rodents and birds
and open woodlands
remain in Southeastern Africa
Named for their colourful coat, the African painted dogs sport mottled patches of red, black, brown, white, and yellow fur all over their bodies. Each dog has its own unique ‘painted’ pattern.
Mac, the leader of the pack at the Zoo, has large white patches on his hips, while Ishe, the youngest, has the darkest coat colour. Come check out the ID charts at the exhibit to see if you can tell them apart from the brothers Tano and Tatu, the other two members of the pack.
African painted dogs hunt in cooperative packs of 6-20 animals. Their preferred prey are usually about twice their weight, like the impala.. Packs will also take on much larger prey like wildebeests, particularly ill or injured ones. They can keep up a hunt over a distance of 5km at a steady pace of 48km/hr, till their prey drop dead from exhaustion. With such incredible stamina, it’s no wonder they have the highest kill rate among carnivores.
Once widely distributed across Africa, with packs of 100 not uncommon, these dogs are now threatened by human encroachment on their habitat. Besides persecution by farmers who fear for their livestock, these dogs are also susceptible to infectious diseases transmitted by domestic animals.